| My Yeshivah: Shavuos 5782 |

The Chassidish Fire: Chayei Moshe       

Chayei Moshe is what introduced me to this youthful chassidus, and led me down this magical rabbit hole

Chayei Moshe is my childhood. It’s my older brothers learning in the yeshivah and coming home infused with substance and meaning. It’s the yeshivah that brought the spirit of chassidus to the litvish neighborhood I lived in.

When I was growing up in Har Nof, it featured a mix of Americans, Israelis, and immigrants from other countries, but they were almost all litvish. While my father attended tishen and went to see his rebbe periodically, I had limited exposure to chassidus.

Until Chayei Moshe came to Har Nof.

Suddenly, Chayei Moshe appeared in the heart of our neighborhood, and my brothers were part of it. It brought with it contagious chassidic excitement, simchah, and bren. The shuls and shtiblach were filled with authentic chassidish bochurim, and the neighborhood took on new color. This convergence of the yeshivah being so near to my house and my brothers learning there led to my forming a lasting attachment to Chayei Moshe and its Torah. Chayei Moshe is what introduced me to this youthful chassidus, and led me down this magical rabbit hole.

That attachment has passed onto the next generation as well. One of my brothers was starting the zeman in yeshivah, and I bought him an expensive chocolate bar. My kids’ eyes almost fell out of their sockets.

“When will we get to go to Chayei Moshe and get chocolate?” one of the little ones asked me innocently.

Yehi ratzon that he’ll yearn to learn in yeshivah for more important reasons, but I hope that that sweet anticipation will remain imprinted in his mind.

My family is very close-knit, and we even have a motto: “Rabinowitz — hachi chazak v’shayach.” We use this slogan during family Shabbosim, bring it up constantly, and draw strength from it.

When one of my brothers went to yeshivah, his siblings played a practical joke on him, and stuck a towel in his suitcase with large embroidered letters saying “Rabinowitz — hachi chazak v’shayach.”

After his initial hesitation, my brother decided to use the towel on his daily forays to the mikveh. His roommates were quick to laugh at the towel, but he was fine. After all, Rabinowitz — hachi chazak v’shayach!

Joking aside, it was only after hearing my brother’s stories that I realized how scary it is to send a brother or son off to yeshivah. I learned that only Hashem knows what a yeshivah bochur is going through, no matter how chassidish and sheltered he is, and all we can do is beg and pray.

This left me with a profound awareness of the need to daven for my husband and children, and to ask the One who truly knows how they’re doing to look after them and guide them in the right direction.

At a Glance

The Chayei Moshe yeshivah was founded in 1992 by Hagaon Rav Binyamin Kahn and is named after his son-in-law’s father, Hagaon Rav Moshe Chaim Lau Hy”d, who was killed during the Holocaust.

The yeshivah, led by Hagaon Rav Naftali Nusboim, is open to students from any chassidus and is located in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 795)

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